Mercedes E-Class Wagon has sports car moxy

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While a wagon wouldn't probably be my first choice of vehicles, I do have to admit that the all-wheel drive Mercedes-Benz E-Class Wagon is making me reconsider. Of course, I'd have to beg, borrow or steal $56K first.

The exterior design is long, lean and edgy, and the front grille is downright angry. As one of my friends who's a mom commented: It's a great carpool vehicle if you're looking to get in and out because it says: Out of my way, b****!

The test car came equipped with the optional Premium 1 Package (premium audio, navigation, heated seats), AMG wheel package, drive-dynamic multicontour driver's seat with massage and premium paint color. So, the as tested price was $62,715. Pretty hefty for a wagon. But, I do have to say there are some features on this car that almost make it worth it.

Loved it:

  • The massaging driver's seat.
  • The dynamic side bolsters that keep you in your seat during aggressive driving maneuvers.
  • Phenomenal turning radius.
  • Excellent acceleration with the 268-horsepower V-6 engine.
  • The rear jump seat that will fit two extra (small) passengers.
  • Voice activated navigation commands thankfully work really well.

Needs improvement:

  • Fuel economy is rated at 16 mpg in the city and 23 mpg on the highway. I averaged 16.3 mpg, but only after a good hour of highway driving. I was holding steady at about 14.9 in the city.
  • Rear back up camera could use some trajectory lines.
  • Placement of COMMAND dial is awkward for petite drivers in a far-forward position.
  • I'm not not a fan of dial-and-select method of pecking out navigation by hand.

Overall, the Mercedes E350 4Matic Wagon is phenomenal. It may look like a wagon, but when you slip behind the wheel that's easy to forget. Driving is responsive and even fun. And gliding around swooping on-ramps was the highlight of my test period.

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